I attending a Food Fight at Toronto’s Fort York this past weekend – and it was great fun, overall. I received my ticket, luckily, this past Thursday so I was quite excited. The event was to start at 1pm so we had to show up before then to be processed. I went alone, no companion with me, but yet I still had great fun. Sometimes it is good to do things with complete strangers – cos who knows who you would meet and the experience can be absolutely fresh.
I was wearing yoga capris cos I had come straight from Yoga Class, so while everyone was bundled up I was traipsing through the Fort with a goodly portion of my calves exposed to the elements.
The first part was a “Food Tour” of Fort York. It was interesting in some sense. We went to the Officer’s Kitchen where I met Elizabeth Baird of Canadian Living Magazine Fame, busily wafting about the kitchen preparing foods cooked at the time of the War of 1812 when those oh so nasty Americans tried to invade our precious lands (we beat them btw). We were lead through a talk on the types of food served at the time, what consisted of a course when one thinks of a 3-course meal. And we got to sample some of the dishes on offer. I took away some handouts of recipes from the late 18thC.
Next bit was to wander into the soldiers’ barracks. We were led through a very lively discussion of what life was like for a typical soldier. Our guide for this bit was a very tall gentleman with a lisp that reminded me a lot of Jonathan Ross (Wossy on Twitter). Afterwards we could chose between two different workshops – stupidly I chose “growing food indoors”.
“Growing Food Indoors” was a workshop done by a lady from Evergreen, an environmental group that has taken over Toronto’s Brickworks. Some of the talk was interesting – how can one setup a home hydroponics kit without shelling huge gobs of cash. But I would have preferred more discussion on how to do something like “sprouting” and less on “you can purchase all of these books, pamphlets & kits from Evergreen .. please come to our shop located by The Brickworks”. I was not prepared for a sales pitch and to say I was mildly annoyed is understating it grandly. But like a proper little Canuck I sat through it all with a polite expression on my face and nary and negative comments (except for this blog).
Next it was the actual Food Fight. If anyone has ever experienced the TV delight of Iron Chef then this was Iron Chef, Fort York style. The secret ingredients were venison, ruby port & tawny port. The chefs had one hour to produce one entree and one dessert. I truly wish they had produced enough to feed the audience, but unfortunately we had to content ourselves with the delicious aromas wafting about the room. There were 3 judges and 5 audience members were chosen to judge as well (I wasn’t not one of the lucky few). The presenter was one Christian Pritchard. I thought Mr Pritchard to be an able host. He kept things lively, which was very important as the chefs were busy cooking and couldn’t take the time to speak to us or give a rambling discourse (as can be seen on Food Network TV). It helped having Mr Pritchard providing a running commentary.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Food Fight and if it occurs next year, which I hope, then I shall definately be getting tickets.
Plus, next year the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 .. Can’t miss that.